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  #1  
Old 01-30-2008, 10:07 PM
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Unhappy Calling all tranny gurus - pink milkshake fluid

My transmission ('81 300CD) has been flaring the last 3 days, and when I finally got around to checking the fluid I found it's a pink milkshake. It was also overfilled. After doing some reading it seems likely the coolant part of the radiator is leaking into the tranny cooler.

My question is, what's the likelihood my trans is toast now? Is there any possibility the German gods will smile upon me and it might be OK after a flush and refill? (and replacing the radiator of course)

Thanks,

Bert

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  #2  
Old 01-30-2008, 10:15 PM
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Water ruins the materials in the clutch plates in the tranny....so its likely doomed.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2008, 10:56 PM
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It could be foamy with air from being over-filled.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2008, 11:16 PM
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Foamy

BG I hope you're right. I'm going to check it in the morning.

Thanks for the ray of hope!

Bert
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2008, 08:16 AM
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Worst fears confirmed

This morning I opened the radiator cap. Pink milkshake in there also. So the 2 liquids are definitely intermixing.

I'm screwed.

Can anybody give me an idea what it would cost to rebuild the trans? I'm guessing $2,500 minimum, right? That's about what I paid for the car 1 year ago.

Oh the humanity!

Bert
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2008, 08:48 AM
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Sorry to hear of your trouble. Im down in Wall, and usually digging thru parts cars. If I can be of help pm me your phone # and Ill try to help out. I have a 81 cd, unfort. the trans is also bad. I was going to put a later drivetrain in it. Youmight consider buying a rusty 300d turbo with a good engine and trans, and swapping. would probably end up costing around the same and gaining some power.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:50 AM
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Oh! forgot the other option....I'll be circling overhead waiting for the carcus if you should feel compelled to sell.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2008, 08:59 AM
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Rick

Thanks for the offer to help. Let me think about what I'm going to do. I hate dumping a big bunch of money into a 1981 car, but then again I know most everything else on it is good.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:04 AM
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Start by getting the coolant out of the trans. Have seen 9-10 transmissions with the same problem SURVIVE the coolant issue. drain & flush the trans several times. YOU may want to buy a case (24) of fluid. You want to use at least 1.5 gallons of kerosene thru the trans first. I would also by-pass the cooler.

You can install an external cooler(kit) in front of the radiator.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2008, 09:23 AM
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Same experience here...

Recent transmission replacement. Fluid milky pink when checking it the other day. Replaced radiator, flushed tranny, will do multiple fluid changes over the next few weeks.

So far no problems, although mine hadn't exhibited any before I noticed the leak. I was being super anal about checking fluid levels and condition and hopefully caught the problem before it was too late.

I'd say go ahead and change the radiator, get the bad fluid out and flush as MB Doc says, then assess. Bet you get lucky and dodge the bullet here.

Please post back with your progress.
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2008, 09:24 AM
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I agree with M.B.Doc. Several years ago I had the same thing happen to a
'94 model E320. I drained-flushed-drained-flushed-refilled and both the cooling system and the tranny survived. I put an external tranny cooler in front of the radiator with no adverse effects.
Good Luck!
Al
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2008, 11:20 AM
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Flounder,

My advice to you - start drinking heavily.



Ken300D


-----
But seriously, don't throw in the towel on the transmission until you at least try a few sets of fresh transmission fluid through it. Under normal warmed-up operation, the water should boil away from wherever it is trapped inside the transmission.

Ken300D
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2008, 11:28 AM
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Thanks guys

Thanks for the kind words. I talked to the manager at my local tranny shop and he was fairly optimistic also. He said he's saved a few that had this happen with a good flush and new filter. I'm going to drop it off to him on Saturday. (just too disgusted to do it myself)

I agree 100% with the plan of adding a separate cooler out front. That makes a lot of sense.


Bert
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2008, 11:31 AM
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Bert, dont shoot yourself yet....I might have a trans for you if your interested.
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2008, 01:01 PM
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It sounds to me like flushing the tranny and replacing the radiator are in order. Clearly, the tranny fluid and coolant are mixing in the radiator, indicating a breakdown of the transmission fluid cooling passages inside.

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